Who Is Mistral Dawn?

Mistral Dawn is a thirty-something gal who has lived on both coasts of the US but somehow never in the middle. She currently resides in the Southeast US with her kitty cats (please spay or neuter! :-)) where she works as a hospital drudge and attends graduate school. Taken By The Huntsman is her first effort at writing fiction and if it is well received she has ideas for several more novels and short-stories in this series. Please feel free to visit her on FaceBook or drop her a line at mistralkdawn@gmail.com

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

#Agent Thoth's #Personal Log: Day 562


Hey Everyone! :-)

Agent Thoth discusses more of the trials and tribulations associated with living with hominids. Incidentally, if you've missed Agent Thoth's earlier entries, you can find them here: Thoth's Journal


Department for the Preservation and Confirmation of Intelligent Life (DPCIL)
Agent Thoth's Personal Log

Day Five-Hundred-Sixty-Two:
My hominid-servant has allowed multiple other hominids to invade my domicile and has thus far ignored all of my efforts to express my displeasure with this development. At first, I thought it would be only one or two of her kind; individuals I have met and approved of in the past. But as I am recording this log, there are no less than seven wild hominids in my domicile, most of whom I have not been allowed to properly vet!

I am not certain as to the purpose of their presence here. To this point, their activities seem to have centered around making excessive amounts of noise and doing everything in their power to step on my tail. I attempted to make the best of this invasion and use it as an opportunity to study hominid interpersonal interactions. But every time I got close enough to observe, inevitably one or more noticed my proximity to them and either attempted to pick me up or shoo me away. The indignity of it all!

I am currently concealing myself beneath my hominid-servant's sleeping platform in an effort to evade the attention of so many hominids who have clearly never been properly schooled in how to treat DPCIL agents. While I have no wish to harm such obviously unintelligent creatures, if they discover my hiding place and persist in trying to take liberties with regards to my person, I will be forced to deploy the C.L.A.W.S.



Oh, my! Wild hominids! ;-) You may have noticed that Agent Thoth has a new look. I hope you like his new picture as much as I do, but I'd love to hear your thoughts, either way. Feel free to let me know what you think in the comments. ;-) Happy reading, everyone!


Tuesday, May 30, 2017

#Journal Of #Sins And #Secrets!




Hey Everyone!! :-)

Today, I thought I'd share a little something that some friends and I have been working on. Enjoy! :-)




Monday, May 29, 2017

Something Worth Watching?


Hey Everyone!! :-)

I'm back today with another video I wanted to share.  Redacted Tonight did a good job here of using humor to point out how out of touch the mainstream media is in this country. In the future, maybe if we can do a better job of acknowleding the problem, we'll be able to fix it. So, take a look and have a laugh. ;-)






Sunday, May 28, 2017

Snag That #Snack! ;-)


Hey Everyone!

Today, I thought I'd share a quick and easy snack/on-the-fly lunch idea. It's doubly useful because it's easy to adjust the number of roll-ups you make whether you're feeding just yourself or a team of hungry kids after a game. Enjoy! :-)

Ingredients:
1/2 banana per roll-up
2 tbsp crunchy peanut butter per roll-up
1 tbsp toasted rolled oats per roll-up
1 tsp honey per roll-up
1 slice whole wheat bread per roll-up

Put the bread on a flat surface and roll it out with a rolling pin to flatten it. Remove the crusts (optional). Spread the peanut butter over the bread in an even layer. Sprinkle the oats over the peanut butter. Drizzle the honey over the oats. Place the banana half at the edge of the bread and roll it all up into an easy to hold and eat treat.

Obviously, you can replace the whole wheat bread with any kind of bread you'd like. You can also use whatever kind of peanut butter you'd like if you don't want to use crunchy peanut butter. Adding a layer of jelly or chocolate hazelnut spread can also be a tasty option.

Bon Appetit!








Saturday, May 27, 2017

#Spring Into #Reading #Giveaway! $100 #Cash #Grand #Prize! #Free To #Enter!


Hey Everyone!! :-)

There's a new giveaway for spring!  Please take a moment to check out the Spring Into Reading Giveaway!!  There are lots of awesome books and prizes!! :-)  It's free to enter, there are over 60 prizes, and the grand prize is $100 cash payable through PayPal!! :-)  Now isn't that worth taking a few minutes to check out? ;-)   Here are all the details:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thank you so much for stopping by today!  And don't forget to check back tomorrow for the next installment of Mistral Dawn's Musings! :-)




Friday, May 26, 2017

Oh, Those #Summer #Nights!


Hey Everyone!! :-)

I thought I'd give you all a little inspiration to start the weekend off right. Enjoy! ;-)

Excerpt from Bound By The Summer Prince:
Turning her head, she barely caught a glimpse of a blur as he moved faster than her eyes could track. Suddenly, he was behind her, one hand gripped firmly in her hair at the base of her skull and the other arm wrapped around her arms and waist pinning her to his body. Gasping at how abruptly she had been yanked off of her feet, she struggled against his hold.

His grip was like an iron band around her middle, she could feel the restrained strength in his body and it made her hot. Moaning, she relaxed against him and allowed her curves to melt into the firmness of his chest.

Leaning down, Uaine licked her ear and whispered, “You don’t listen very well, do you?”

Nearly panting with need, she writhed in his grasp. She could feel how hard his cock was against her ass, and how it jumped when she moved. “You wouldn’t really want me to, would you?”


Want to find out what happens next? Grab your copy here:



Happy Reading! :-)



Thursday, May 25, 2017

#APC #Spotlight: Ulterior Motives By Amy Hale!


Hey Everyone!! :-)

I've got Amy Hale in my APC spotlight, today!  Amy is an active and supportive member of the  Authors-Professional Co-op Facebook group and her romantic suspense novel, Ulterior Motives, looks great! Here's the description:
Despite being wealthy, Ellie Manchester has had a rough life. She witnessed her mothers murder at age seven, but did not see the man responsible. Plagued by nightmares, and a drunken father, Ellie has grown up to believe that she can only rely on herself. When her father dies in an accident, she becomes an heiress of sorts... and a target.
Tanner Paxton was a tough and tumble kid who turned his penchant for getting into fights into a successful security business. He loves his work but does not have time for much else, especially relationships. When he is hired to protect Ellie, against her will, he not only finds himself embroiled in dangerous chaos, but falling in love with the most stubborn and beautiful woman he has ever met. But love may be a weakness that can get them both killed.
If you think this sounds like a story you'd enjoy, go ahead and grab your copy here:


Thank you all so much for stopping by! Happy reading! :-)



Wednesday, May 24, 2017

#Agent Thoth's #Personal Log: Day 559


Hey Everyone! :-)

Agent Thoth discusses more of the trials and tribulations associated with living with hominids. Incidentally, if you've missed Agent Thoth's earlier entries, you can find them here: Thoth's Journal


Department for the Preservation and Confirmation of Intelligent Life (DPCIL)
Agent Thoth's Personal Log

Day Five-Hundred-Fifty-Nine:
There is one particular taxonomic class of arthropod that I find most intriguing. Morphologically, they differ from the majority of the other local arthropods in that they only have two body segments, as opposed to the more common three-body-segmented variety, and they possess eight legs instead of the more commonly observed six.

There seem to be representatives of several orders within this class within the local biosphere; however, the one I find most interesting is a web-weaving order. I have observed multiple genera within this order, locally. So many that I haven't even begun trying to classify them into individual species.

Unfortunately, this order of arthropod seems to be singled out by my hominid-servant for particular censure. For some reason, she seems to locate and eradicate the very few representatives of this order that make their way into my domicile with even greater efficiency than she directs towards the extermination of other arthropods. It is frustrating in the extreme.

I have tried to identify a reason for such extreme behavior, and I believe I may have come up with a working hypothesis. The majority of the representatives of this order of arthropod produce venom that results in a painful bite for any animals that threaten or harass the creatures. I know this because I have been the recipient of several such bites.

The quantity and type of venom produced varies, as does the size of the delivery mechanism -- fangs -- that the creatures can boast. Thus far, the worst effect I have suffered from such a bite has been a small, painful lump that healed within a few days. However, it is certainly possible that there are species of these arthropods that I have yet to encounter that possess a more potent venom that they are able to deliver in doses large enough to present a danger, even to an animal as large as my hominid-servant.

If my hominid-servant's ancestors evolved in an environment where these dangerously venomous arthropods were common, it makes sense that a heightened awareness and instinctive response to the shape of the creatures may have developed over time. At least, that is the only explanation I have been able to devise for why she is not only so unreasonable about allowing my study of these arthropods, but also why she is so adept at enforcing her interdiction against them.


Gah! Is there no justice? Does she have no respect for science? ;-) You may have noticed that Agent Thoth has a new look. I hope you like his new picture as much as I do, but I'd love to hear your thoughts, either way. Feel free to let me know what you think in the comments. ;-) Happy reading, everyone!


Tuesday, May 23, 2017

#Strange Goings On...


Hey Everyone! :-)

I thought I'd give you another little peek at what I've been working on. I hope you like it!:-)

Excerpt from WIP:
Just as I started to head back to the house, the underbrush around me lit up with a strange white glow. And, boy, let me tell ya, I didn't know what the heck to think about that. At first, I wondered if it had anything to do with those fracking boys who'd come around asking about running a pipeline under my property. They'd told me they'd get the government to take my land if I didn't agree.

Boy, let me tell ya, I sent them boys packing right quick with a couple blasts from my twelve-gauge. No one threatens me on my property. Eminent domain, my sweet fanny. My people've been defending this land from all comers for near on 200 years, ain't no one gonna tell me what will or won't be dug up under the ground now; no matter how many fancy lawyers they've got. They can take my home over my cold, dead body.

But I have to say, when I saw that strange glowing, I thought maybe they'd somehow gone and put their pipeline in without me noticing. Couldn't figure out how the heck they'd do something like that, though. Then, I thought maybe they had set up some kind of movie special-effects stuff to try to scare me off. Thing is, Alyce Walker don't scare easy.



Monday, May 22, 2017

Something Worth Watching?


Hey Everyone!! :-)

I'm back today with another video I wanted to share.  Other than the fact that Bernie Sanders has a podcast, which is awesome, there isn't much in this video that I didn't already know. But I still think the reminder is important. We need to remember why we're fighting so hard and what we hope achieve.







Sunday, May 21, 2017

Fun Potato Salad #Recipe!


Hey Everyone!

Since cook-out and picnic weather has arrived, I thought I'd share one of my favorite potato salad recipes. Enjoy! :-)

Ingredients:
4-6 potatoes cubed
2 large eggs
2 kosher dill pickles chopped fine and drained
1 tomato diced and drained
1 12oz can sliced black olives drained
2 cups mayonnaise
Salt and pepper to taste

Place the cubed potatoes in a pot of cold, salted water and boil until fork-tender. Drain the potatoes and set aside to cool.

Place the eggs in a different pot of cold water, bring to a boil, cover, remove from heat, and let sit for 20-25 minutes. Drain the water but leave the eggs in the pot. Shake the pot to crack the eggs and run under cold water. Remove and discard the shells and rinse eggs under cold water until cool.

Place all the ingredients in a bowl and mix together with a fork, taking care to break up the eggs. Taste and adjust seasoning as necessary. Serve or refrigerate.

Celery and bell peppers, diced, can also be added to this salad, if you like a little extra crunch. Shredded or diced carrots add a nice sweetness.  You can also make this salad with sweet potatoes instead of white potatoes, but you might want to leave out the pickles if you make that substitution.

Bon appetit!



Saturday, May 20, 2017

#Spring Into #Reading #Giveaway! $100 #Cash #Grand #Prize! #Free To #Enter!


Hey Everyone!! :-)

There's a new giveaway for spring!  Please take a moment to check out the Spring Into Reading Giveaway!!  There are lots of awesome books and prizes!! :-)  It's free to enter, there are over 60 prizes, and the grand prize is $100 cash payable through PayPal!! :-)  Now isn't that worth taking a few minutes to check out? ;-)   Here are all the details:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thank you so much for stopping by today!  And don't forget to check back tomorrow for the next installment of Mistral Dawn's Musings! :-)




Friday, May 19, 2017

#APC #Spotlight: The Mutineers By Eryn Vyctorya Mills!


Hey Everyone!! :-)

I've got Eryn Vyctorya Mills in my APC spotlight, today! Eryn is an active and supportive member of the  Authors-Professional Co-op Facebook group and her science fiction novel, The Mutineers, looks great! Here's the description:
Two hundred years in the future, our first major human colony on Mars, the Zephyria Planum Research Station, is suffering. The inhabitants have rapidly dwindling rations and medical supplies, and are prohibited from returning to Earth. A handful of officers can only think of one final, last-ditch effort to get what they need simply to survive, but it requires them to break every sacred oath they ever took.

Sakharov Station, in orbit between Earth and Mars, find themselves between a rock and a hard place when the World Government collapses, and the more powerful space-faring nations of Earth start grappling for possession of Sakharov Station's deadly contents the personnel were sent to dispose of.

Can the two outlying bastions of humanity join forces and survive, or will each step bring them closer to their own doom?
Sound good?  If you think you'd like to give it a try, go ahead and grab your copy here:


Thank you all so much for stopping by! Happy reading! :-)



Thursday, May 18, 2017

#May2017 #IndieBooksBeSeen #Indie #Author #Books #Monthly #BookReview!


Hey Everyone! :-)

It's the 18th again, and you all know what that means. Time for my monthly #IndieBooksBeSeen indie author book review! Enjoy! :-)

The Running Game by L.E. Fitzpatrick:

Rachel has a secret that could cost her life; she's a Reacher. Unfortunately, someone found out and now it's a race to see if she can escape the city or if those who want to exploit her talents will find her first. Some of the people she meets in her bid for freedom offer to help, but with the stakes this high, who can she trust? Will betrayal cost Rachel her future, or will a little help from her friends make it possible for her to win The Running Game?

I enjoyed this book and I'm glad to see that there are more in the series. The dystopian world Ms. Fitzpatrick created is interesting. Instead of the usual post-nuclear holocaust or post slate-wiping plague, the world that Rachel has to navigate is the result of the collapse of the world financial institutions. Those "Too Big To Fail" banks we hear so much about in the news. The extrapolation of what happens if the warnings of those who urge our leaders to regulate and reduce the size of these institutions continue to go unheeded is thought-provoking. Add in a little xenophobia, a shadowy authoritarian government, and a few unusual abilities and you have a classic dystopian sci-fi novel, but with a fresh and intriguing perspective. Five stars. And I'm looking forward to the rest of the series.




Wednesday, May 17, 2017

#Agent Thoth's #Personal Log: Day 553


Hey Everyone! :-)

Agent Thoth discusses more of the trials and tribulations associated with living with hominids. Incidentally, if you've missed Agent Thoth's earlier entries, you can find them here: Thoth's Journal


Department for the Preservation and Confirmation of Intelligent Life (DPCIL)
Agent Thoth's Personal Log

Day Five-Hundred-Fifty-Three:
The revolution of this planet around this system's central star has brought the part of the planet on which I am located closer to the star, once again. A change that has resulted in an increase in the average local temperature. This temperature increase has, in turn, resulted in an increase in the number and variety of the small arthropods available for study.

Unfortunately, the majority of these arthropods remain on the outside of my domicile and my hominid-servant remains unconvinced of the need for me to either venture out to gather samples or for the arthropods to be brought within my domicile for the purposes of more convenient access. I do record as many observations as I am able to make of their behavior through the clear, glass portals in the walls of my domicile, but this is obviously less than ideal.

On occasion, an arthropod will find its way into the domicile without my hominid-servant's aid or knowledge, however if she discovers its presence she acts swiftly to remove it. If she would just leave the resulting smear of innards for me to examine, that would be a start. But, alas, even the remains are quickly eradicated. My hominid-servant's antipathy for the small arthropods is extremely frustrating.

Poor Agent Thoth! Those hominids can be so unreasonable!. ;-) You may have noticed that Agent Thoth has a new look. I hope you like his new picture as much as I do, but I'd love to hear your thoughts, either way. Feel free to let me know what you think in the comments. ;-) Happy reading, everyone!


Tuesday, May 16, 2017

What Is #Science And Why Does It Matter?


Hey Everyone!

A few weeks ago, scientists from all over the world marched in protest of the current trend of dismissing science as irrelevant and devaluing its findings. Specifically, the determination of certain world leaders, who shall remain nameless ;-), to deny the fact of anthropogenic climate change was being protested, but the larger issue of science itself being under attack was also up for discussion. Since there are a lot of people who apparently don't understand what science is or why it's important, I figured I'd share my thoughts.

First, what is science?  It's important to understand that it's the process that constitutes science. Answers to questions and innovations and inventions are the result of applying the process of science to a given problem, but they aren't science in and of themselves. There's a difference between science and technology.

Science is the process whereby we pose a question, hypothesize an answer, design an experiment, examine our design for flaws, test our hypothesis using our experiment, observe and record the results, analyze the data, determine if the results support the hypothesis, and then report on our experiment, results, and conclusions so that they can be critiqued by others and more experiments can be run to see if our results are repeatable. It's that systematic testing, tweaking, retesting, confirming, testing some more, analyzing for faults, and more testing and analysis that makes science the powerful tool that it is. But there are no "short cuts." The work needs to be done and the process followed for the results to be meaningful.

So, why does science matter? Well, I'll tell you a little about how science has made my own life better. When I was a child, I received what are, and have been ever since the mid-20th century, considered "routine" vaccinations. As a result, I was not blinded or deafened by measles. I was not robbed of my ability to have children by mumps or rubella. I was not crippled by polio. I did not die young from smallpox. My lungs weren't ravaged by whooping cough. I didn't even have to suffer through the agony of diphtheria. I have never had to live in mortal fear of a deep cut because, thanks to a vaccination, tetanus poses no threat to me.

When I broke my wrists and ankles in childhood mishaps, I didn't have to live the rest of my life paying for my foolishness with permanent deformities because a doctor was able to set the broken bones so they could heal straight. When I caught the flu and I was too stubborn to rest, and so it turned into pneumonia, I didn't die because I had access to antibiotics to fight the infection.

My whole life, I've been able to get up in the morning and take a shower in warm water. I don't have to carry that water in from a river and burn wood to heat it because clever scientists figured out how to deliver water to faucets inside homes and also how to heat that water so that it's available when it's wanted.

There is food in my refrigerator and pantry because people have used agricultural science to figure out how to maximize crop output, fight plant diseases, and prevent predation from parasites. Others have figured out efficient ways to harvest those crops so that little is lost. More science was applied to creating refrigeration technology and other methods of food preservation. And still other people have figured out how to transport that food to places where I can purchase it.

Others have applied agricultural science to the production of animal-based food products. Thanks to science, we know what temperature those foods need to be cooked to in order to ensure safety. I've always been able to consume dairy products with confidence thanks to pasteurization.

I'm sitting in my living room now. The sun has gone down for the day, but I'm not sitting in the dark. Because science has made it possible for electricity to be delivered to my home, which powers light bulbs. The computer I'm writing this on is a wonder of scientific innovation. So many different scientific disciplines brought together so that we can all stay a little more connected to our friends.

Science impacts all of our lives every day in both large and small ways. From the time one of our distant ancestors picked up a rock or a stick to defend against a predator or bring down prey, or saw a brush fire and wondered if it would be possible to harness such a power for their own purposes, human beings and our predecessors have been using science. In more modern times, we've formalized the process of scientific inquiry and honed it into the most effective tool mankind has ever had for exploring, defining, and understanding the universe around us. Science has taken us into the depths of our oceans and out among the stars.

Have there been bumps and missteps along the way? Yes. But the beauty of the scientific process is that even mistakes serve to inform our study. We learn and fine-tune and try again. Until our results are upheld by repeatability and our methods can withstand the scrutiny of our peers and rivals.

In this way, science is superior to other methods of exploration. Because nothing needs to be taken on faith. Every conclusion can be questioned and tested. Every experiment analyzed for flaws in the methodology and unaccounted for variables. And once the evidence is in and confirmed by repeated testing and analysis, we can all study where that data came from, how it was collected, and we can prove for ourselves whether or not it supports the hypothesis or doesn't.

Science is vital to the continued survival of our species because it allows us to sift through the constant bombardment of information we experience and figure out what is and isn't supported by evidence. And once we've cleared away the noise, we can use what's left to find real solutions to real problems. And that's why science does, and always will, matter.



Monday, May 15, 2017

Something Worth Watching?


Hey Everyone!! :-)

I'm back today with another video I wanted to share. I just wanted to remind everyone that this is still going on. In the United States of America. In 2017. Yeah.





Sunday, May 14, 2017

#Easy #Cheesy Quesadillas!


Hey Everyone!

Today, I thought I'd share one of my favorite go-to meals for when I'm in a hurry. Enjoy! :-)

Ingredients:
2 corn (or flour) tortillas per quesadilla
1/2 cup shredded cheese (your choice for kind/blend of cheese) per quesadilla
1/4 cup diced tomato per quesadilla
1 tbsp diced chili pepper per quesadilla
1/4 cup sliced button mushrooms per quesadilla
1 tbsp diced black olives per quesadilla
1 pat of butter per quesadilla

Melt the butter in a skillet and place one tortilla in the butter over medium heat. Spread the cheese over the tortilla in an even layer, leaving a little room around the edges, and then sprinkle the vegetables over the cheese. Put the second tortilla on top. Once the cheese starts to melt, flip the quesadilla over so it can brown on the other side. Once both sides are browned, remove from the skillet and cut into quarters. Serve and enjoy.

Obviously, any of the vegetables can be omitted or substituted for something else. As always, I prefer my quesadillas without meat, but if you'd like you can add cooked and shredded chicken, cooked and shredded pork, or cooked ground or shredded beef. Just make sure the meat is completely cooked before you add it because food poisoning sucks.

Buen Provecho!





Saturday, May 13, 2017

#Spring Into #Reading #Giveaway! $100 #Cash #Grand #Prize! #Free To #Enter!


Hey Everyone!! :-)

There's a new giveaway for spring!  Please take a moment to check out the Spring Into Reading Giveaway!!  There are lots of awesome books and prizes!! :-)  It's free to enter, there are over 60 prizes, and the grand prize is $100 cash payable through PayPal!! :-)  Now isn't that worth taking a few minutes to check out? ;-)   Here are all the details:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thank you so much for stopping by today!  And don't forget to check back tomorrow for the next installment of Mistral Dawn's Musings! :-)




Friday, May 12, 2017

A Little #Spice For Your #FridayReads


Hey Everyone!! :-)

Today, I just thought I'd remind you just how hot summer can get. Enjoy! ;-)



Excerpt from Bound By The Summer Prince:

“Well, it occurs to me that I never got to show you what a talented a mouth I have.”

“Is that so?”

Pushing him onto his back and sitting up on her knees, Roni pushed her hair behind her shoulder and said; “MmmHmmm…Now lie there, and don’t move. Or I’ll tie you up, this time.”

Grinning wickedly, the prince lay back and crossed his arms beneath his head. His gaze traveled over his Anamchara’s body, as his own hardened. “Really? I think I find that proposition intriguing.”

Putting her hands on her hips, Roni gave him a mock severe look and said; “Are you going to behave, or do I need to find some rope?”

Pretending to consider, he said, “I’ll cooperate for now, but you might want to have the rope ready.”

Noticing that her lover’s eyes were locked on her breasts, she gave her shoulders a small shake, which caused them to sway. His gaze followed her dancing flesh, as it moved hypnotically from side to side, and she leaned forward to whisper in his ear; “If I have to tie you up, I’ll blind fold you too.”

Her words startled a laugh from him, and his eyes locked with hers. “You are a saucy wench, aren’t you?” He smiled. “Well, I guess I’d best behave myself then; I’d hate to miss out on such a view.”

Her grin spread from ear to ear, and she felt her eyes sparkle. She wondered at his ability to tease her and make her enjoy it. Leaning down again, she placed a gentle peck on his lips, and then laid a trail of kisses down his jaw and neck.

Uaine’s eyes slid closed at the heavenly feel of his Anamchara’s mouth on his body. It was all he could do to keep his hands where they were, and not reach out and draw her beneath him. She seemed intent on tormenting him, and he longed to feel her lips around the part of his body that was hard and aching.


Woo! Looks like things are heating up in the Summer Court. Want to read more?  You can grab your copy here:



Happy reading! :-)






Thursday, May 11, 2017

#APC #Spotlight: Undressed By Karina Kantas!


Hey Everyone!! :-)

I've got Karina Kantas in my APC spotlight, today!  Karina is an active and supportive member, she keeps us all in line ;-), of the  Authors-Professional Co-op Facebook group and her poetry/short fiction collection, Undressed, looks great! Here's the description:
UNDRESSED is a collection of short fiction, flash, poetry and prose. The anthology contains my own memories, thoughts, and experiences. There are excerpts from published, unpublished and work in progress.
The writing is raw, emotional...NAKED.
If you think this sounds like a story you'd enjoy, go ahead and grab your copy here:


Thank you all so much for stopping by! Happy reading! :-)



Wednesday, May 10, 2017

#Agent Thoth's #Personal Log: Day 547


Hey Everyone! :-)

Agent Thoth discusses more of the trials and tribulations associated with living with hominids. Incidentally, if you've missed Agent Thoth's earlier entries, you can find them here: Thoth's Journal


Department for the Preservation and Confirmation of Intelligent Life (DPCIL)
Agent Thoth's Personal Log

Day Five-Hundred-Forty-Seven:
Today, my hominid-servant introduced the infant felid to the narcotic herb she uses when she wishes to pacify us. Fortunately, I saw her coming and was able to maintain a sufficient distance to avoid its irresistible aroma. This allowed me to study the effects of the substance absent the distortions inherent with intoxication.

At first, I thought the infant felid was less susceptible to the herb's effects, as he seemed to ignore it. However, once it caught him in its siren's scent, he abandoned himself to wallowing around in it. I made careful observations of the changes in his mood and behavior as well as measured any physiological effects that it had. I believe this data will be useful since I am unable to record my own responses when in the thrall of its influence.

The tiny beast's reactions were consistent with my own, albeit hazy, memories of my encounters with the herb. At first, he rubbed his face against the pile of dried leaves repeatedly, eventually extending this to his entire body. He also ingested a fair amount of the substance, though more became entangled in his fur. Once he was fully saturated with the herb, he raced aimlessly from one end of my domicile to the other, making odd, disorganized vocalizations the entire time. Eventually, the final stages of intoxication set in and he collapsed into an exhausted slumber, where he remained for several hours. When he awoke, he did not seem to have suffered any ill effects from the experience, though his immediate trip to the feeding station indicates that it left him feeling hungry.
It is my hope that DPCIL will be able to use this information to create an antagonist for this substance that will allow DPCIL agents to function in its presence. Still, a single data point is not terribly revealing. Hopefully, my hominid-servant will utilize the drug to control the small pest in the future, so that I may gather more data.

Oh, my! She's drugging them again! At least Agent Thoth has a use for this outrageous behavior. ;-) You may have noticed that Agent Thoth has a new look. I hope you like his new picture as much as I do, but I'd love to hear your thoughts, either way. Feel free to let me know what you think in the comments. ;-) Happy reading, everyone!


Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Something #New In The Works



Hey Everyone!! :-)

I just wanted to give you all an update on what I've been up to lately.  Right now, Intrinsic Connections is being edited. I still hope to be able to release it before the end of this month, but I can't promise because I'm having to work around different people's schedules. But keep your fingers crossed, because there's still a good chance it will be out this month. :-)

When I'm not working at my day job, or busy dissecting and rebuilding Intrinsic Connections, I've started working on a new project.  Don't worry, the third Petri book will still be written, and I have a couple more Spellbound Hearts stories to tell as well. But this book has been clawing at my brain, screaming to get out, so I'm giving in to the pressure and writing it next. I'm actually kind of excited, and I hope you all will think it's worth a little delay in the others. :-)

To, hopefully, pique your interest, I'll post the prologue to the new story below.  And I'd be absolutely ecstatic if you'd leave a comment telling me what you think. :-)

Excerpt From Untitled Sci-Fi Satire Novel:

Prologue

"You want to do what, now?"

The short guy with the clipboard looked up from what he was writing. "I need to inspect your genitals."

"Are you out of your mind?"

The guy cocked his head at me, quite a feat since he didn't have much of a neck to speak of. "Miss, you know the rules. If you want to use a public lavatory, you must submit to having your genitals inspected first. How else can we be sure that you are entering the correct facility for your gender?"

"You are not 'inspecting my genitals;' you must be out of your ever-loving mind. I would rather pee my pants."

The guy made a notation on his clipboard. Actually, it wasn't a clipboard, it was some kind of high-tech tablet kind of thing. But it looked like a clipboard, so that's what I called it.

"Interesting. We didn't think you'd object. Based on the vociferosity of those promoting such regulations, we thought they must have near universal support."

I gaped at him. "Look, bub, almost no one likes those rules. It's basically just a handful of religious zealots who have taken control of our government by doing the bidding of the wealthy who think that those rules are a good idea."

"You truly have an odd form of leadership. Very well, if you have need of the facilities, please use them. We have much to cover today."

I rolled my eyes. "Thank you. I'm so happy we've managed to move past your desire to see me in my altogether."

As I walked past him towards the door to the bathroom, I heard him mumble, "As if I actually had any wish to view the vulva of an over-evolved ape."

I think he might even have shuddered, but it was hard to tell since he lacked any kind of skeleton. It might have just been a breeze moving through the room. I rolled my eyes again anyway. Apparently, no one had ever told him that the proper place for squid is dusted in flour, deep fried, and served over spaghetti.

But maybe I'm getting ahead of myself. Hi. My name is Alyce, and boy did I ever end up on the other side of the looking glass. It's quite a story, so let me start at the beginning.




Monday, May 8, 2017

Something Worth Watching?


Hey Everyone!! :-)

I'm back today with another video I wanted to share.  This seemed like a timely reminder of what's going on, and also what we can do about it. We need to make sure the things that matter aren't getting lost in all the noise. This isn't the time to allow ourselves to be distracted. #Resist!




Sunday, May 7, 2017

#Recipe For A #Yummy Warm Weather #Treat!


Hey Everyone!! :-)

With the weather warming up, I wanted to share one of my favorite summertime recipes with you, panzanella salad. It's almost like pizza only without having to turn on the oven. ;-) Enjoy!

Ingredients:
2 cups day-old bread torn into bite-sized chunks
1 cup grape tomatoes rinsed and drained
1 cup bite-sized balls of fresh mozzarella cheese
1 cup sliced button mushrooms
1/2 cup shredded fresh basil leaves
1 small red onion chopped fine
1.5 cups extra virgin olive oil
3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 cloves garlic grated
Salt and pepper to taste

Toss together bread, tomatoes, mushrooms, cheese, basil, and onion in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together the oil, vinegar, garlic, salt, and pepper. pour the dressing over the salad and toss together. Serve and enjoy.

Buon Appetito!


Saturday, May 6, 2017

#Spring Into #Reading #Giveaway! $100 #Cash #Grand #Prize! #Free To #Enter!


Hey Everyone!! :-)

There's a new giveaway for spring!  Please take a moment to check out the Spring Into Reading Giveaway!!  There are lots of awesome books and prizes!! :-)  It's free to enter, there are over 60 prizes, and the grand prize is $100 cash payable through PayPal!! :-)  Now isn't that worth taking a few minutes to check out? ;-)   Here are all the details:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thank you so much for stopping by today!  And don't forget to check back tomorrow for the next installment of Mistral Dawn's Musings! :-)




Friday, May 5, 2017

#Animal #Rescuer's #Guide To #Staying ( #Relatively ) #Sane! #Free! :-)



Hey Everyone!! :-)

Just a reminder, for those who haven't checked it out yet, I've collected all my animal rescue/care posts together and published them as a small book.  If you'd like, you can download the book for free from Amazon, Smashwords, B&N, Kobo, and iTunes.



Thanks for stopping in today, and don't forget to check back tomorrow for the next installment of Mistral Dawn's Musings! :-)


Thursday, May 4, 2017

#APC #Spotlight: Naero's Mastery By Mason Elliot!


Hey Everyone!! :-)

I've got Mason Elliot in my APC spotlight, today! Mason is an active and supportive member of the  Authors-Professional Co-op Facebook group and his military science fiction novel, Naero's Mastery, looks great! Here's the description:
NAERO FORESEES A DARK FUTURE
The future of the Cosmic Prophecies keeps coming, whether Naero likes it or not. A future that spells Death for her and all that she loves–her beloved, her children, her fierce Clans, and all of humanity. As things stand, her enemies still remain too great, too numerous, and far too powerful. She has foreseen it all, first hand.
Naero’s only hope to avert this doom begins with her completing her Mystic training. But that is only the beginning. She and her allies must struggle to meet their challenges, and prepare for the ferocious battles yet to come. The defenders stand before the might of foes and threats so great, that these powers nearly wiped out the entire universe, millions of years ago.
The greatest threats in the universe will soon be pitted against:
NAERO’S MASTERY
Sound good?  If you think you'd like to give it a try, go ahead and grab your copy here:


Thank you all so much for stopping by! Happy reading! :-)



Wednesday, May 3, 2017

#Agent Thoth's #Personal Log: Day 542


Hey Everyone! :-)

Agent Thoth discusses more of the trials and tribulations associated with living with hominids. Incidentally, if you've missed Agent Thoth's earlier entries, you can find them here: Thoth's Journal


Department for the Preservation and Confirmation of Intelligent Life (DPCIL)
Agent Thoth's Personal Log

Day Five-Hundred-Forty-Two:
Since his brief incarceration, the infant felid has been somewhat subdued. His sneak-attacks against my hominid-servant's feet have been at a minimum, and he has even shown far more respect for my need for adequate rest. I'm not certain how long this reprieve will last, but I have been taking advantage of it by continuing my studies on the inhabitants of this world.

Yesterday, as I was observing the behavior of the small avians on the other side of one of the portals, the tiny pest seemed to take an interest in my work. I attempted to encourage this by explaining what I was doing and why, in the hopes that he would be willing to restrain himself when he sees me working in the future. However, my explanations seemed to fall on deaf ears, as he soon became distracted by the fluttering movements of the avians.

The loud thwack he made when he attempted to pounce on them, and instead impacted with the clear glass of the portal, naturally, frightened the skittish creatures away. Which, of course, put an end to this opportunity for observing them. When I attempted to express my disgust with his thoughtless action, the small beast ran off, presumably, to attack something. I'm not certain I will ever truly understand the thought processes of this puerile animal.


Poor Agent Thoth! He never seems to be able to catch a break when it comes to that pesky infant felid. ;-) You may have noticed that Agent Thoth has a new look. I hope you like his new picture as much as I do, but I'd love to hear your thoughts, either way. Feel free to let me know what you think in the comments. ;-) Happy reading, everyone!


Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Let's Talk About... ;-)



Hey Everyone! :-)

Today, I thought I'd talk about something I seem to get asked fairly often. For some reason, I seem to have been getting a lot of emails lately that boil down to the question, "Why do so many women like reading romance novels so much?"  My response is generally something along the lines of, "Why on Earth are you asking me? I'm not a psychologist." ;-)  But, when I'm feeling slightly more frivolous, I might say something like, "It's the sex, silly!"

So, with a full disclosure that I am not a psychological professional of any description, I figured today seemed like a good day for frivolity, so why not explore the second answer a little. ;-)  But, first, a few caveats. I will not be citing any sources. This is a work of frivolity and so I will be using only my own anecdotal observations, and any "conclusions" I reach should be regarded accordingly. Also, as a complete and total non-expert in psychology, I haven't the foggiest idea if anything I say here fits within any psychological theory, or has been completely debunked by science, or if there is any other relationship with actual facts. Again, this is not a research essay, it's a flight of fancy. Take it as such.

One thing that seems to hold true, this question seems to come to me most often from men who are exasperated that a woman in their life has in some way compared them to a character in a romance novel and found them lacking. So, first, I'd like to point out that romance novels, by definition, are works of fiction. Therefore, any comparison between characters who don't actually exist and whose every thought, action, and word is carefully scripted and edited by an author to fit within a storyline and an actual human being who has multiple, dynamic, and often conflicting, demands on their time, energy, attention, and other resources and whose thoughts, actions, and words likely only receive a cursory, on-the-fly review and/or filter is not only absurd on its face, it's likely damaging to relationships. In the same way that comparing the bodies and behavior of actual, real-life women to the bodies and behavior of carefully made-up, lit, positioned, and scripted actresses in pornographic videos is both asinine and unrealistic.

Now, with all the caveats, disclosures, and disclaimers out of the way, let's have some fun, shall we? ;-)  So, why do women like romance novels? First, it's not just women. I've met more than a few men who both read and write romance novels. So, the correct question would seem to be, why do people like romance novels?  Well, as I said before, common sense would tend to suggest it's the sex. Duh.

After all, human beings do seem to spend an awful lot of our time and energy on sex. Thinking about it, fantasizing about it, trying to find a partner or partners for it, planning it, having it, dreaming up new and exciting ways/places to have it, and on and on. As a species, we're pretty obsessed with sex, wouldn't you say?  So why wouldn't literature that centers on, and often glorifies, sex be popular?

In addition, many romance novels, unlike most pornography in general, also focuses on the love aspect of relationships.  Are there exceptions to this? Yes. But, for the most part, the romance bit of love is a central theme in most romance novels. Hence, the name of the genre.  This gives readers the opportunity to escape into a fantasy world where people find creative and entertaining ways to work through their differences and grow closer to each other. So, you not only get the excitement from the sex, you also get the "feel-good" moments from the love.

Is it just the pursuit of an endorphin rush -- a mental masturbation, if you will -- that draws readers to romance novels? I honestly don't think so. Yes, it feels good to read about people in love. But I think it's more than that too. As with any fictional literature, I think romance novels are an escape from reality.  They're a way to vicariously live adventures that would be either impossible or impractical in real-life, or that most people just don't get the opportunity to experience. And you also get to do it from the comfort of your own home, without having to deal with any of the hardships that the reality of such a life would bring.

For instance, putting aside the fact that time travel is currently beyond the capabilities of human beings, if you were to be magically transported back to the 1500s Scottish Highlands, you might find the lack of electricity, indoor plumbing, modern medicine, paved roads, internal combustion engines, and other modern amenities we tend to take for granted now to be rather daunting.  And don't forget, before modern printing methods were invented and became commonly used, books were rare and valuable. Just think, no more romance novels!  But experience the same world through the lens of a novel, and you can have all the romance and adventure with none of the inconvenience. Now isn't that worth a few bucks?

I also think that more than a few romance readers make note of ideas and tips that might help spice up their own love lives. Does that mean everything that might be described in a romance novel is actually possible or practical for real-live human beings to duplicate? No, obviously not. But, most love scenes tend to stay more-or-less within the bounds of what human beings might imagine themselves doing. People are more likely to find such ideas arousing than things that are clearly outside the realm of possibility.

Yes, some adjustments might need to be made to compensate for the lack of fictional appendages or technology. If the story you're reading involves a double-donged alien, then a dildo might be a necessary substitute since most human males lack a second penis. But, by-and-large, there's usually enough of reality in a sex scene that people could imitate it if they got creative enough. So, if you're looking for some ideas or a place to start a conversation, reading a romance novel with your sweetie might not be a bad place to start.

So, what does all this boil down to? Why do people like reading romance novels? At a guess, I'd say the reasons vary from person to person. But one thing they all seem to share is that they get something out of reading romance novels. Of course, that could be said about why anyone does anything. If you're taking time and energy to do something, you're probably getting something out of it. Still, regardless of the specifics of their motivations, many people do seem to enjoy escaping into the pages of a romance. And, after all, there are much worse things people can use their time for than making a little love or dreaming about romance, right? So, instead of trying to beat us, why not join us? You might just find and adventure or dream lover of your own. ;-)



Monday, May 1, 2017

Something Worth Watching?


Hey Everyone!! :-)

I'm back today with another video I wanted to share. Okay, yes, Redacted Tonight is a comedy show, but that doesn't mean that what they say isn't true. They just speak the truth in a way to make us laugh. ;-)  So, at the risk of stating the obvious some more, please take a few minutes to watch this video. Because, apparently, there are still people who refuse to believe obvious facts, even when they have those facts posted right in front of their face in three-mile-high letters. And what could be funnier than that? ;-)